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A nice climb or descent through amazing scenery. Can be heavily overgrown.


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Map Key

8.3

Miles

13.3

KM

Point to Point

7,034' 2,144 m

High

3,700' 1,128 m

Low

3,337' 1,017 m

Up

3' 1 m

Down

8%

Avg Grade (4°)

21%

Max Grade (12°)

Dogs Off-leash

Features River/Creek · Views

Description

The Cottonwood Creek Trail is a very popular trail and sees usage from hikers, horseback riders, and mountain bikers on busy weekends. Most of the trail is of moderate grade, and this makes it a great out and back. It is also common to use the Cottonwood Creek Rd and Bald Mountain Rd. to create a loop. There is nice camping at the bottom of the trail and also at the top at Thorn Creek Butte so this is a good place to spend the weekend. There are also hot springs up the road along the Middle Fork of the Boise if you need to heal some aching muscles.

The start of this hike is at the bottom of Cottonwood Creek, but as mentioned above it can be done in many different ways. The lower 7 miles of the trail are of moderate grade and are easily climbed. The last 1.3 miles of this trail are steeper (and a little looser) as the creek dies out and you get close to Thorn Creek Butte.

A couple of old burns have crossed the trail over the years, so be aware there is not a lot of shade on the lower half of the trail. Near the top you'll enter thicker tree cover and the trail gets a lot more shaded.

Note this trail was cut back the first 3 miles by the Forest Service and Idaho Trails Association in the spring of 2019. Fairly large sized loose rock also can cover trail.

Contacts

Shared By:

Chris Cook with improvements by Green Queen

Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 3 votes

#10246

Overall
  4.3 from 3 votes
5 Star
33%
4 Star
67%
3 Star
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2 Star
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1 Star
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Trail Rankings

#474

in Idaho

#10,246

Overall
3 Views Last Month
1,305 Since Sep 21, 2017
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult

0%
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67%
33%
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Photos

Trail conditions May 2016. Heavily brushed in at mile 1.
Sep 21, 2017 near Idaho City, ID

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Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Unknown
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Oct 25, 2018
Mike Maynard
With Francine and the Dogs.
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